Ask flight schools these 7 questions and you will save yourself time, frustration and several thousand dollars!
1. How much do you rent your planes per hour, and is there a difference between credit card and cash? Is it cheaper if I give you money up front?
Never give money to a school up front or for a cheaper rate on airplanes. There are thousands of people in the last 3 years, that the flight school went out of business and kept their money. If you decide to change schools, you won’t get a refund. Most companies will only give you credit towards their planes and products.
2. Do all of your instructors follow the same written curriculum?
Standardization is the way airlines train and fly. If you don’t have a curriculum to follow how will you know what to study for on the next lesson? If there isn’t a standard curriculum, and another instructor has to fill in, will they teach the same way? A WRITTEN CURRICULUM CAN SAVE YOU THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN WASTED TRAINING TIME
3. How long have you been teaching?
The FAA requires at least two years experience as an instructor, before they can train new instructors. The FAA knows that experience counts. You want an instructor that has been teaching at least two years. Also it’s important to get someone who has had a lot of students, and a good pass rate. Our Chief Instructor has been teaching seven years
4. What experience have you had as a professional pilot?
If you want to be a career pilot, you should train with someone who has been a professional pilot. Do they have Turbine (Jet Engine) and Crew Resource Management Experience?
5. What do I have to buy as a student?
The three books from the FAA you can download for free from the internet. Maps and plotters are low cost items. Any flight school that wants you to buy their “kit” is selling you something at 40-50% above cost. All you need is a logbook and one map to start. A good flight school will loan you a headset for free at least until you solo.
6. Do you fly with all landing and taxi lights on?
The FAA several years ago, asked all flight training schools in the LA Basin to participate in a voluntary program called “LIGHTS ON”. Your chances of being hit on the road or in the air drop by up to 400% if you have your headlights on. If a flight school is more worried about the cost of a landing light than your safety run away…..
7. Do you offer financing?
The biggest reason people quit flying is because they run out of money in the middle. A serious flight school interested in helping people finish fast will offer financing to help you get your pilot's license for as little as $300 per month
Have questions about picking a good school? Email the author anytime at: